Cain asked reporters to focus on “what’s important to the American people” rather than “beat this distraction to death about a word that appeared on a rock.”
“I really don’t care about that word,” Cain added. “They painted over it. End of story! I accept Gov. Perry’s response on that.”
Cain's taken a battering in the conservative blogosphere since indulging the Post's story.
It's a particularly damaging moment for him, because his tea party base has so often been savaged by liberals for alleged-racism that to hear a tea party leader of choice, Cain, indulge this kind of story is particularly disappointing to conservatives.
Ed Morrissey's post this morning gets to the heart of what most are saying: "Is Cain the biggest loser in WaPo's hit on Perry?"
Sometimes, competition can make people abandon their natural common sense. That arguably happened yesterday to Herman Cain, who must have seen the Washington Post exposé on Rick Perry about a Texas hunting ranch lease from the 1980s as an opening to hit one of the frontrunners in the race.
Cain’s comments were — at best – premature — and at worst, highly irresponsible. It was a cheap shot, and, perhaps is a signal that Cain is willing to play the race card against a fellow Republican when it benefits him.
The fact that Cain spoke out so soon — basing his comments on a newly-posted and thinly-sourced article published by an outlet many conservatives believe to have a liberal bias — speaks to Cain’s lack of political judgment.